4 Effective Email Marketing Conversion Tips for Small Businesses
Use email marketing to grow your business.
This story originally appeared on PR Newswire's Small Business PR Toolkit
Email marketing allows you to reach a highly targeted audience at a low cost. In fact, experts at Campaign Monitor, an email marketing company, estimate that an effective email marketing message has the potential to result in $38 in revenue, for just $1 of marketing investment.
Here are some email marketing conversion tips all small businesses can use:
1. Include descriptive tags with your images.
Online publication MarketingCharts cites data revealing that the average person receives more than 400 commercial emails a month. Emails that include images can help your small business stand out in an already-crowded inbox, especially if you choose those that evoke an emotional response to a product, a promotional campaign concept or your brand.
However, email marketing now comes with a "catch 22," given that at least half of all email messages are checked on a mobile device, according to experts at Litmus, an email analytics company. While mobile devices may positively boost response to time-sensitive messages, small screens aren't always conducive to images. If a recipient opens your email only to see that images have been blocked, you could be banished to his or her spam box indefinitely. The more often that happens, the harder it is to form a reputation as a sender whose emails are recognized as legitimate: According to the experts at Sender Score, 28 percent of the email messages that are sent reach a user's inbox.
Descriptive ATL tags can help you improve conversion, and decrease the risk of images in email marketing. Nonprofit organization WebAIM point out that ALT tag copy that is applicable in both context and functionality ensures the meaning of an image translates, even if the recipient can't see the picture. Review the ALT tags for images on your site and in your email campaigns for relevancy, using descriptive words that will make the customer want to take action.
2. Don't send messages that aren't targeted.
While you may not have robust data on prospects, you can learn a little more about what they respond to with each message you send. Diligently track open and click-through rates with each campaign, including the optimal times to send messages based on response and headline tests. Place email recipients in segments based on your findings to build an effective drip campaign that is personalized and relevant based on their activity. Internet Retailer reports that retailer totes Isotoner improved its email marketing campaign revenue by a whopping 7,000 percent when it used analytics based on past email activity, site search history and past purchases to deliver highly targeted email messages.
3. Don't ask for too much.
Segment your email marketing campaigns so that each recipient is served the most relevant offer based on his or her preferences, and that he or she is presented with one clear message, call to action and a seamless checkout experience -- whether on a desktop or mobile device. Prefill special offers the email message may include so customers aren't required to key special discount codes that are part of your email offer at checkout. Partner with a reputable mobile payment provider for a secure and branded checkout experience to eliminate concerns with payment security, or require the customer to take additional steps to complete the transaction. For example, Mobile Commerce Daily reports that despite the popularity of PayPal by retailers in online sales, evidence suggests that it kills conversion by nearly 15 percent (particularly when consumers are shopping on a mobile device), because it requires additional steps to make a purchase.
4. Use emails to form a lasting relationship.
Email campaigns should build upon one another, and acknowledge what you know about the customer, based on his or her past activity. In fact, marketing firm Epsilon cites data indicating that "triggered" emails targeted based on a recipient's engagement with past messages have open rates that are 76 percent higher than those with generic messaging. If you cannot convince your customers to click on your message, you can't convert them, regardless of your pricing or product quality.
Email marketing is an affordable way to communicate with prospects and customers, gain valuable insights about their preferences and increase sales. However, it requires strategy to convert message recipients into buyers. Follow these steps to improve the ROI you realize from every email you send.